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Human Rights Film Festival Opens In Kyiv

Volodymyr Yavorsky
Volodymyr Yavorsky
The International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival opens in Kyiv today, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

More than 40 European films and documentaries will be shown at the festival in the next week.

The festival begins with Polish director Bartosz Konopka's film "Rabbit a la Berlin." The film is about rabbits living safely and without problems in the no-man's land along the Berlin Wall and the sudden challenges they face after the wall is demolished. It is an allegory for how East Europeans learned to live in a free society.

Volodymyr Yavorsky, director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and one of the festival's organizers, told RFE/RL that the films will be shown in Kyiv and more than 100 other Ukrainian towns and cities.

Festival director Henady Kofman told RFE/RL that Ukrainian directors are trying to use the festival to acquaint the public with films that have not previously been shown in the country.

One of the films, "Love Me, Please!" by Russian director Valery Balaian, shows the current state of neo-Nazism in Russia. It also tells the story of journalist Anastasia Baburova, who was born in the Ukrainian town of Sevastopol and shot dead, allegedly by a Russian ultranationalist, in Moscow last year.

The festival will end on April 2 with the presentation of awards to the directors of the best films.